MH17’s Tragedy Could Cost Russia’s World Cup in 2018

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting
Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow July 17, 2014.

MH17's tragic crash in Eastern Ukraine could pave way for world leaders to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin by taking away the hosting right of FIFA World Cup from Russia, according to sports analyst Tunku Varadarajan.

In his latest article on the Daily Beast, Varadarajan claimed the best way to discipline the egoistic Russian leader is not through economic sanction, but putting his crowning glory in shambles - the cancellation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"Putin believes that a World Cup in Russia can be sold to his people as an endorsement of his rule. Why should the world become an accomplice in a dictator's Ponzi scheme of pride,?" the analyst stated in his piece.

"As he preened for the cameras at the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, it was clear that Putin regards Russia's staging of the cup's next edition as a propaganda godsend, a global vote for his achievements. Imagine his consternation if he were prevented from putting on such a show."

Varadarajan believed FIFA, football's governing body, has enough time to withdraw its agreement with the Russian government and give the new hosts four years to build stadiums and infrastructure needed for successful staging of such a big event.

Moreover, he cited that the initiative should also come from the private sectors, particularly the major sponsors of the World Cup, like Kia Motors, Anheuser Busch, Visa and Sony to ensure that Russian won't have enough financial backings in time for the event.

Another thing is it would open an opportunity to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is accused of rampant corruption in the organization, to redeem himself by doing what is right in the eyes of the majority.

If this happens, the cancellation of Russia's staging of the World Cup would be a painful reminder to Putin administration that he's not that influential and omnipotent contrary to he currently projects in the global political arena.

The Netherlands, which originally made its bid for the hosting of the 2018 World Cup, might be the ideal substitute to Russia because of its powerhouse team and the irony of being a victim of such horrible terroristic event.

Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down by Russian-back separatist group while passing by Ukraine air space during the weekend, leaving roughly 300 people - 189 of them Dutch - dead.

For more MH17 and World Cup news, read more at IBT Sports

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